My 1995 Mike Pinder Interview: Video

Ah, how innocently I posted in 2016 that I would find and post the interview I did with Mike Pinder “shortly”.  I suppose it’s relative.  A slightly more in depth recap (photos can be seen in the original post): I was a high school senior.  Mike Pinder was touring Barnes & Noble bookstores to support A Planet With One Mind.  I was a member of the TV club at school (media geek, yep!) and we had learned you don’t get interviews if you don’t ask.  So I took my FOMP newsletter in hand (if you know, you know), and thought I would float doing an interview before his Albany, NY appearance in a small hope to spread the word.  We had a local access cable channel through the school and at least some parents and students watched (well, the students were sort of made to).  I called from home.  A very nice woman answered (I later learned this was Tara), and as I put out the idea, she said “Hang on, he’s right here…” and my heart stopped.  The next thing I heard was “Hello, this is Michael.”  I don’t think a heart can stop while stopped but it did its best.

Fast forward: Mike agreed to come by one November evening to the high school after another appearance out of town.  This gave us two or three days to air some promos, spread the word via the mandatory homeroom viewing, and air the full hour interview before his signing in Albany.  Most of the jobs for the “shoot” were handled by fellow students, with support from 3 staff at the high school, particularly our producer, Nick Viscio, who let us redesign the whole studio space and get prepped (and direct the shoot when it happened).  And the snow came.  Upstate New York, after all.  Police were telling folks to stay off the road (and in upstate New York, that doesn’t come lightly).  We had been at the school since the day ended, but Mike and Tara were in transit.  They had my number.  That number had an answering machine – this was well before us having cell phones.  And the high school switchboard was unmanned so no direct incoming calls to the studio.  Thus back and forth and tag, and… well obviously they made it.

I might write something more in depth sometime, but that sets the scene.  Below, find the interview itself in full, as it “aired” in 1995 (I was so happy when the occasional person at the signing mentioned they’d seen it!), and a behind-the-scenes video we aired within the school afterward.  Pretty sure even Mike and Tara haven’t seen that …

The Interview

This was shot in the studio of Guilderland Central High School with my friends (whom I will only name if they want to be associated!) and I edited it overnight to lay in b-roll, but the interview is complete.  No content was edited out.  Everything I uttered (words or not) and Mike’s full answers are here.  As an interviewee he was so very generous.  If we’re really keeping track, at about minute 22 was when my heart was ready to give out again as I listened to the playback in the studio, turned around, and thought “will he still be there after I play this clip?”

(I’m still proud of that image in the background, printed from my inkjet onto a transparency, put into a slide projector, hung from the ceiling)

Behind the Scenes

Put together and shared within the high school.  The nervous energy still comes through, I think 😉

Vinyl Gap

I was very excited to see, much to my surprise, that the upcoming live concert release from the Days of Future Passed Live tour will include a vinyl release. (Amazon here).  I was holding out a little bit of hope the video would see a 4k/UHD release as previous Eagle Rock titles had been out ahead of the Blu-Ray HD wave with the Lovely to See You title, but that’s ok.

It made me think that there’s a curious vinyl gap in the Moodies catalog.  Over the last few years, new items have seen LP releases, including the Isle of Wight (clear vinyl!) and Collected releases.  There have been a number of re-releases as well, including a million of Days (to varying degrees of quality) and even The Other Side of Life.

But after Keys of the Kingdom, vinyl fell out of favor, leaving what to me are three obvious gaps in the catalog of major releases:

  • Live at Red Rocks
  • Strange Times
  • December

I’ve skipped a pair of other live albums, specifically: Hall of Fame and Lovely to See You as they weren’t as “big” as Red Rocks although HoF did get the PBS treatment.

Even Keys was a limited international release, but by now if you really wanted one, you probably were able to secure a copy.  So why not new releases of these catalog items on vinyl?  Especially Strange Times – arguably the only complete studio album of original material never to see vinyl.  Even as I hate to suggest it, a massive box set of Moodies albums on vinyl that had these 3 titles as exclusives would make me go out and buy it.  Others are selling these massive catalog sets to great success, like Weird Al’s sold-out Squeeze Box.  

Now that I think of it… HoF, unlike LTSY was missing a number of songs we knew were performed such as Strange Times which has never seen an official live release.  So let’s get the whole Hall of Fame show as a an extended edition, too!

It seems like the Rock Hall induction might be a great opportunity to promote such an item… just sayin’.

Get It While It’s New

I intend to keep this post somewhat up to date with new or upcoming releases of interest that can be had new and are not the standard usual catalog items, or are new enough folks might not be aware of them.  There were definitely times in the past where I let things go by assuming I’d pick them up later – usually due to being a poor student – and then either couldn’t find them again or only by paying a lot more for them.  As long as they remain available as new items they may stay on this page.  Some won’t stay around for long!

New Live Album

Days of Future Passed Live [video] [CD] [LP]

Filmed in Toronto over two nights (I was at one of them and can just barely be spotted!)

New Book

Long Distance Voyagers – The Story of The Moody Blues Volume 1 (1965 – 1979) – by Marc Cushman

Norda’s Second Solo Album

Has been announced – not available yet

New single from Denny Laine

Meant to Be / Over the Horizon

An appearance by Justin

Burt Bacharach: Life in Song – Justin performs What the World Needs Now

John’s Live Album

Live From Birmingham: The 10,000 Light Years Tour – While the Pledge Music site is no longer available, the album and video are available via Amazon

‘The Wind of Heaven’ is beautiful

Full honesty up front.  I was at the web premiere of The Wind of Heaven as a video.  I wasn’t very moved at first viewing.  It could have been the interview around it, who knows.  I watched it once or twice after and it didn’t grab me.  Today my copy of All The Way arrived so I was afforded the opportunity to sit back and just listen to this more than seven minute journey.  I also looked up more information and found this synopsis of the film it (strikingly well) represents:

“The Wind of Heaven is about a veteran that comes back home from Afghanistan and really loses himself, can’t pick up the life he had before he left.  Eventually, he gets work on a ranch and he finds that he has kind of a communion with the wild horses and he finds himself through horses.”

In addition, one should know:

“The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse’s ears” – Arabian Proverb

So, with both of those in mind, I listened again, without the video.  It starts very much in the area of despair, and the chorus arrives and lifts us slightly out of it before the song goes back into the sadness.  But again, the chorus “rescues” us.  The cycle repeats, and the length of the song gives it time to do so over and over.  Thrust back into dark, lifted back out of it.  Incredibly lifelike.  It took me repeated listens, though, to notice how each time the chorus visits us, it is more uplifting than the previous, and by the end the keyboards are practically giddy before the end.

It is not just a beautiful song, the structure of it has made me really love it.

Where To Buy

Current catalog and available merchandise

Music and Videos or any other major retailer

Mike Pinder‘s store

Tour t-shirts, mugs, etc. for 10,000 Light Years Ago merch for Spirits of the Western Sky merch

Padding out the collection

I’ve used eBay for quite a while – back when if ordering from the UK I had to get a money order from the post office, send it overseas and wait for my item.  Things are much different today and it’s a great way to find rare (or not!) items.

Other places to search around: